We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves. … We cannot overcome anger and hatred simply by suppressing them. We need to actively cultivate the antidotes: patience and tolerance. Dalai Lama
The more we practice patience, the greater our experience of the peace that follows.
So, remember the ants [click here if you missed last week’s post -- http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/the-open-door-of-missed-opportunity]?
They’re still here. Despite negotiations, pleading, and non-lethal ‘strong arm tactics’ (they don’t like peppermint) to force them to relocate, the mound is still active. They no longer have trails toward the house. Perhaps that’s a sign that their activity is focused on moving (hopefully far away).
But alas, another pest has surfaced here at home. I discovered evidence of a mouse in the house this week. Respectful of the hantavirus mice carry and its presence in our valley, I reluctantly set traps. Not the catch and release variety.
Pesky pests. I struggle knowing that any violence I perpetrate against myself or another living creature contributes to the culture of cruelty and violence on the planet. And, these days that culture needs no additional contributions.
As atrocious acts of violence and cruelty are being ordered and carried out right here in the United States and around the globe, the main course that’s needed is patience and peace. To that menu we need to add generous sides of understanding, compassion, kindness, and love.
I wonder: if I can’t be patient and co-exist with pesky pests, how can I expect others to make peace with those whose differences surfaces fear that can only be extinguished with love? Indeed how can I make peace with others whose views differ from my own? How do we get beyond the zero sum, win-lose approach to life?
Patience is key. This week my ‘Patience Coach’, Cool Hand Luke Skywalker has his hands full. Beyond the pests, a few other pesky events this week are reminding me of the prayer: “Lord grant me patience, but please hurry”. Preparing to paint the garage trim, I discovered the masking tape preferred not to stick to the stucco. High winds didn’t help. Last night, wanting to wind down and relax with a video, the site I preferred to watch wasn’t working. Ugh!
On one level these little events pale in magnitude to the ‘big issues’ confronting humanity. But do they really? I’ve suggested before that there is no small thing in life. How we respond the seemingly inconsequential events in life is, indeed, consequential: cause and effect. Patience begets understanding, tolerance, peace. The more we practice patience, the greater our experience of the peace that follows.
If we truly understood and accepted this law our choices and actions would likely be very different.
How might I cultivate patience with the ants, with a mouse, with myself? In those places where your patience is lacking, how might you?
PS - HAPPY SOLSTICE - Summer in the northern hemisphere, Winter in the south!